Monday, June 18, 2012


Last week was weird. I'm still working on giving myself permission to create. I worked myself into a frenzy and yes, I cried. I was so busy getting samples done for classes and workshops and I felt miserable. I'm all for the multiple income streams but it seemed as if I were still in the same boat with numerous holes in the bottom. I couldn't figure it out; what was wrong and to top it off, a young acquaintance passed away. She was very sweet, funny, had the greatest smile and sense of humor. She was 25 and now she's gone. She had just started a job she really liked. Mortality is a b**** and you never know when your time is up.

Maya called me. I guess she sensed my distress. I told her what was going on and she told me not to be so hard on myself. At that time, it hadn't been two weeks since I left the job. Yes I need some income coming in but I also need to create. That's why I quit. And I wasn't giving myself the opportunity to do so. She said that even if I only spend 20 minutes on something new, that's good. Everyday, spend time on something new. Then the rest of the day, I can work on things to get income coming in. That it is okay to do so. She said to stop beating myself up and give myself a chance.

So I mourned my friend and the old Wendy. I'm working on being nicer to me. Us creative types are so hard on ourselves. We are constantly working, thinking up new ideas, working in old and new mediums. Wondering if something will work and then wondering if someone else will like it. When people, usually a non-creative type, comes up to you and says, "Oh, all you do it paint all day (or insert: make dolls, do clay work, take photographs, write)." Short of strangling them, or just smacking the heck out of them you can tell them to try it. All they see is the end result. The finished doll, the pretty picture, the great photo in the frame. They don't know about the time to:
  • come up with the idea
  • gather supplies
  • research
  • sketch
  • take notes (waking up at 3 AM, in the shower, on the toilet, eating breakfast, at a stop light, and I can go on)
  • take the first step, make the first mark on the white paper, go outside to a field full of spring flowers
  • give yourself permission to screw up, because it will happen, over and over again
  • try again
  • more research
  • model, sculpt, paint, put more batteries in camera
  • more research
  • let things dry, or bake
  • deal with angst
And it continues. Day in and day out. It happens before the pretty or fantastic thing at the end. The thing that everyone sees.

I also have to get better at a schedule. The morning is for my new work. I am giving myself permission to work on it. Whether it's ten minutes or 30. That's to create new work. To write new words. After lunch, I can do something that will bring in some income. I am and my work is important enough to give myself permission to do it. It is wonderful. When I think about it, I giggle and shake with joy. Then the real world tries to creep in and say that I shouldn't have fun while everyone else is toiling away at jobs they don't like. So I pull a move like the one Hulk did to Thor and just knock out the not-so-fun thoughts.

I have everything I need to create. I will continue to work on my attitude and tell myself that I am worthy. To create. I'm sure I'll over think something else, and lose my mind on something insignificant because I am human. Then I will have a creative explosion.

Right now, I am okay. Life is too short not to be happy or creative. Besides, I have friends who will keep me in check. I'm noticing these weird looks from them when I don't give myself enough credit. So I will have to keep my big girl underpants on, safety pin my cape, and seize the day. Throw some clay around and mark up some paper. One day at a time.


Kim said...

Fantastic post!! I agree with people thinking that a job that involves creativity is nothing but fun and games. I used to hate telling people I was a floral designer and then have to listen to how much fun my job and life must be. It is fun--was fun- but there are all those things you listed and more in there too. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Wendy- that is much too young! I'm glad she touched your life while she was here. Sending you hugs xxxxoooo

Allison said...

You are certainly on a new and exciting journey, Wendy! I would dearly love to give up work and create all day but my problem is that I find it hard to part with anything I make - not ideal if you're wanting to earn an income from it! I tend to write down lots of new ideas too but then never seem to find the time to do anything about them. Maybe I should take your lead and plan my days better - some work, some family time and a whole lotta creative fun! I'll ponder this for a bit x

Wendy Luane Barber said...

Thanks Kim. I'm primed and ready for someone to say something like that to me. I will tell them to try it, then get back with me. Feeling the hugs.

Wendy Luane Barber said...

I agree Allison. It is difficult to part with creations but I know that going back to a desk or retail at this point would not be good. I know that if people buy my pieces, they must really like and appreciate them and will give my kids a good home. As far as planning to do creative things, I tell myself to do ten minutes and if I get into a groove, that's great. If not, work on something else. Have a good one.

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